THE THRELKELD SURNAME DNA PROJECT operates independently, but in association with, the Guild of One-Name Studies registered Threlkeld One-Name Study. Learn more about this research at our Guild profile page and at our Study's for-purpose website.
The Threlkeld DNA Project is global in scope and open to anyone who has the surname Threlkeld—or any of the many variant spellings—in their family tree. Aiming to help identify and bring together the various branches of these family lines by use of DNA, the test results center around the Y-chromosome, which is passed down essentially unchanged from father to son to grandson. Because yDNA isn't recombined at conception, as is autosomal DNA, it has immense value in genealogy and can look back multiple generations to confirm relationships, even provide information in anthropological timeframes about how that paternal line migrated thousands of years ago.
While yDNA casts a very deep net when fishing for unbroken lineages of early surname use, autosomal DNA, like the Family Finder test, casts a much broader though shallower net. It is quite difficult to accurately employ autosomal DNA evidence farther back that 3g-grandparents—matches to 4th cousins—but the average person will have 190 3rd cousins and 940 4th cousins. Combining the use of yDNA and atDNA provides the best possible opportunity to build a genetic picture of a surname line. Even if they can't take a yDNA test, we most certainly welcome those with the Threlkeld name in their trees who take a Family Finder test.
The surname stems from two Old Norse words: þrǽll ("thraell"; meaning serf, or serfdom), and kelda (meaning a spring, fountain, or well), indicating its origin in England to the era of Norse activity, circa 793 to 1066, and one of the reasons we see so many variant spellings. The original adopters of the surname chose it due to the manor and chapelry of the same name in the County of Cumberland (now Cumbria), England, and included Knights, Lords of the Manor, and a member of Parliament. You can read a detailed overview of the name's etymology and origins on our website.